Bishop's Stortford & Epping Taekwon-do members excel at Tae Kwon-Do Association of Great Britain black belt grading
Alexander Ion had two reasons to celebrate when Bishop's Stortford & Epping Taekwon-do enjoyed an excellent black belt grading in Daventry.
The 10-year-old, who was one of the youngest athletes in action, successfully tested for his first-degree black belt at Hellidon Lakes Hotel and Resort.
And he was also the winner of the club's Student of the Month Award for October.
Seven other club members also passed with flying colours as Gabriel Ion, Martin Yung, Rebbeca Hawkins, Sebastian Clark and Oliver Fach achieved first degree while Edward Hall and Callum Dodd got second degree.
There were more than 400 students at the Tae Kwon-Do Association of Great Britain-run event and they were tested on various aspects of the Korean martial art, including floor work, patterns, set sparring and Korean history and terminology, in front of the TAGB committee.
Black belts also have power tests – adults breaking boards with their hands and feet, and juniors tested on electronic pads.
Also going from first to second dan, and overcoming some adversity, was Cheryl Preston from Dunmow Taekwon-do.
Preston trained with the Stortford club for many years and now runs her own club in Dunmow alongside her partner Matt Howard.
She showed great courage to continue after a fall and was back on the floor an hour later after being treated by the medics to complete a successful grading.
"This year has been a big challenge with on-off training during the Covid restrictions," said instructor and fifth dan Colin Mowatt. "Things are now back to normal and the club continues to grow."
The club now have 28 black belts from first to fifth dan among their 100-plus students and are gearing up for the British Championships later this month.
Training takes place at Parsonage Hall in Stortford on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays as well as in Epping on Thursdays.